Published: Sat, October 27, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Flash floods: 18 killed in this Middle East country

Flash floods: 18 killed in this Middle East country

The Israeli military, in a statement, confirmed that it has sent search and rescue helicopters to help Jordan following Amman's request for assistance.

Also among the dead were passers-by who had been picnicking in the area, he said, adding that a nearby bridge had collapsed.

Doctor Mahmoud Zureigat, general manager of al-Basheer public hospital in Amman where the victims were transported, said the dead arrived with severe injuries to their bodies.

The country was hit with sudden heavy rain, which flooded the hot springs area near the Dead Sea.

Police were investigating whether the trip organizers lied to participants about the safety of the trail they planned to take amid unseasonably heavy rains as well as about their coordination with relevant authorities, who had issued flash flood warnings for the areas.

The search for survivors continued after daybreak, with helicopters and teams with sniffer dogs scouring the rocky slopes near the Dead Sea in the Jordan Valley.

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"The number of those killed in the flash flood is expected to increase because many were reported to have been swept away by the raging water", the official said. Relatives sobbed and searched for details about the missing children, a witness said.

Rescuers combed the shores of Jordan's Dead Sea early on Friday, searching for survivors, after flash floods killed at least 20 people, a lot of them children on a school outing.

Thursday's incident is the second tragedy resulting from flooding near the Dead Sea this year.

According to the Education Ministry, Victoria College School committed three violations by sending the busload of schoolgirls to the southern Dead Sea.

King Abdullah II cancelled his scheduled trip to Bahrain following news of the flooding, and in a later tweet thanked surrounding Arab nations, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia for its condolences.

A civil defence official was quoted on state television as saying that the number of casualties was expected to rise.

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